At Lake Norman Dressage Center, Inc., our primary goal is the health and happiness of the horses at our facility. This goal is achieved through a sound management program, including the latest research in equine nutrition, a strong emphasis on horsemanship, both mounted and on the ground, and a safe turnout environment. Our training programs are based on effective and clear communication with the horse to create suppleness and relaxation which in turn increases the horses' flexibility, confidence, and soundness, thereby allowing them to achieve their full athletic potential. Through horsemanship we instruct the riders on how to better speak "horse" both on the ground and mounted, allowing them to understand better how horses think and therefore increasing their own awareness as well as how to more effectively communicate with the horse. We believe that any horse can benefit from dressage with an emphasis on horsemanship and that correct training and clear communication will lengthen and improve the horse's way of going as well as its overall quality of life. Horses in our training program consistently remain sound and happy as well as competitive. We believe this is NOT an either/or scenario, we strive to do both!
Our unyielding emphasis on proper groundwork teaches the student first how to understand the horse, then through building upon leadership skills and honing the students eye to the needs of the horse, we transfer these valuable tools to feel and timing under saddle. Our lesson programs then concentrate on developing rider balance and flexibility through teaching body awareness and relaxation, therefore allowing the rider to start to feel and connect with their horse for greater understanding and communication under saddle, which eventually leads to the harmony and happiness of both partners. We believe instruction is best set up as: "Train the horse to teach the rider, then teach the rider to listen to the horse"- Catherine Haddad Staller